You love them. You hate them. Sometimes those feelings can turn on a dime. I have no idea what that expression means by the way. I've used it a ton of times, but seriously who turns on a dime? Anyway, my point is having a sibling or siblings can be a weird thing. There's such a wide spectrum of emotions experienced on such an ongoing basis. You can go ages without talking to them or can't go seconds without texting one another. I know people who haven't spoken to their brother or sister in years or don't even acknowledge their existence. This weird opening ends (thankfully I know) with a story of siblings who are thisclose - almost literally.
Jocelyn and Chris Arndt share a childhood, a school, and a band together. That story in itself is cool but when you throw in the fact their band is successful, it just gets better and almost makes me want to reach out to my sister and start a band. OK, not really. We both have no musical ability. Anyway, JCA (I'm going to abbreviate here so I don't get tired of typing) are attending college together at Harvard University while the music they've made plays on college radio and notably AAA and AMA radio. Their album, by the way, debuted in the Relix Jamband chart at #17 last month. Smart, talented, and successful. On paper, you want to be them or you're incredibly jealous. Meet and listen to them, and the proverbial paperwork gets crumpled up into a ball and misfired into a nearby trashcan.
Take a listen to Edges - their new album - and you'll reap the benefits of raw emotion, blues-and-soul inflected power and an energy level you wish some acts on radio today would have and I don't say that in a "back in my day they didn't have..." sort of way.
Late last month, JCA performed on A-SIdes, and discussed their music and the whole sibling thing. They also discussed touring while hitting the books (they've played over 100 performances this year including SXSW and CMJ), all while going to school. Their grades? Very good by the way but who cares. Music is going to trump education here. They're destined to break out like a delinquent in detention. Have a look below (JCA filmed am A-Sides session at the Music Conservatory of Westchester), and call your sibling.
We move from rock to synth-pop with LA-based Alle Norton, who's currently churning out some 1980-retro-cool music under the name Cellars. Have a listen to her album Phases, and you'll enter a time where Don Johnson went sockless and Ronald Reagan probably misread a teleprompter. But, this isn't just a retread kind of thing. Cellars takes the best of the 1980s, and expands on it with some lyrical mastery and some sometimes dark, hauntingly good songs. In a nutshell? It's inspired by the decade of shoulder pads, but sounds totally contemporary and original. At an A-Sides session also at the Conservatory last month, Norton chatted about making Phases - produced by Ariel Pink by the way, touring, the '80s, and anything else that came up. Oh, and she played "Nighttime Girl" on piano - raw and acoustic. It's something to behold. Watch!
A-Sides' "Delve Into Twelve" Countdown
Each week A-Sides unleashes its top 12 tracks of the week AKA the "Delve Into Twelve" based on the following contributing factors: songs I'm playing out that particular week (no matter when they were released -- think overlooked songs, unreleased tracks and old favorites), songs various publicists are trying to get me to listen to that I did and dug a bunch, song posts and trends I've noticed on my friends' Facebook walls and, most importantly: what my toddler is currently enjoying thoroughly with an assist from my infant.
About A-Sides with Jon Chattman - thisisasides.com :
Jon Chattman's music/entertainment series typically features celebrities and artists (established or not) from all genres performing a track, and discussing what it means to them. This informal series focuses on the artist making art in a low-threatening, extremely informal (sometime humorous) way. No bells, no whistles -- just the music performed in a random, low-key setting followed by an unrehearsed chat. In an industry where everything often gets overblown and over manufactured, Jon strives for a refreshing change. Artists featured on the series include Imagine Dragons, Melissa Etheridge, Yoko Ono, Joe Perry, Alice Cooper, fun, Bleachers, Charli XCX, Marina and the Diamonds, and Bastille.